Coronavirus update and advice

Stay at home as much as possible, work from home if you can, limit contact with other people, keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible), wash your hands regularly.

More information

2. Important information about new reliefs

Important : Support for Businesses recently announced by the Government

The Chancellor has introduced a range of measures to support businesses. These are

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month Business Rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Small Business Grant Funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

The Government is updating the information here on their website:

How do I access this support?

Businesses currently in receipt of Retail Discount

Business Rates bills have already been issued in March for 2020/21. The additional reliefs announced by the Government on 17 March 2020 will be applied to 2020/21 bills as soon as possible. You do not need to apply for the additional relief. If you qualify, we will apply it to your account automatically and send you a revised bill.

Leisure and Hospitality businesses are also included as a category eligible for Retail Discount. The Council will identify eligible businesses and will re-bill those Businesses as soon as possible.

Small Business Grant Funding

There will be a £10,000 cash grant to our smallest businesses. Small businesses do not need to apply for these grants and small businesses who pay little or no Business Rates and are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief will be contacted directly by the Council.  A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

The Council is currently waiting for guidance from Government about how to administer the Small Business Grant Funding Scheme (this is expected by 20 March 2020) Businesses will be updated about the process for claiming this support as soon as possible.

For the latest information on what the Council is doing to support businesses please see:

Support for small businesses  

Any business losing their Small Business Rate Relief because of the Revaluation will get assistance to ensure their new bill rises by no more than £50 a month (£600 a year). 

There is no need to make an application for this relief. If you qualify, we will aim to apply it to your account automatically and send you a revised bill. 

More guidance about this discount is available at:

Discretionary Revaluation Relief – Final year of the scheme

In the Spring Budget 2017 the Government provided funding for Local Authorities to provide discretionary relief for businesses facing an increase in their bills as a result of the Revaluation. To qualify for this relief your property must meet the following conditions:

  • The rateable value of your property is less than £200,000; and
  • There has been an increase in liability before other reliefs are applied of more than 5% of the eligible occupied charge when compared to your 2016/17 bill; and

You have been in continual occupation since before 1 April 2017.

The award of relief must comply with EU law on State Aid. It is the responsibility of the Ratepayers to inform the Council if they have received State Aid that exceeds in total €200,000 over a three year period, including any other rates relief (other than exemptions, transitional or mandatory reliefs) being granted for premises other than the one to which the declaration relates, under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013.

The following businesses will not be eligible for the relief:

The Council will prioritise the following:

  • a) Local Authority properties and the wider public sector
  • b) Businesses that fall into the following categories:
    • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
    • Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)
    • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
    • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors)
    • Post office sorting office
    • Betting shops
    • Shisha Bars
  • c) Non trading rating assessments (e.g. Advertising rights, parking spaces, communication masts, kiosks, Car Parking Spaces)
  • d) Properties which were not on the rating list at 1 April 2017. (Relief will not apply where properties are entered into the list retrospectively).
    • Local businesses
    • Ratepayers occupying lower value properties
    • Ratepayers facing the most significant increases in bills
    • Business facing hardship as a result of the impact of the revaluation
    • Businesses with employees

Businesses whose rateable value is not currently the subject of an outstanding appeal with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)

Applications for relief will be considered by the council on receipt of a completed application form.